We continue to find new reasons to love the Mojave National Preserve. It turns out that the Joshua tree forest of Cima Dome and Shadow Valley is the largest and densest population of Joshua trees in the world, even larger than in Joshua Tree National Park. From our campground it’s about 25 miles to the Teutonia Peak trail, right in the middle of the beautiful forest.
And we’re here at the perfect time to see the Joshua trees in bloom.
Suzanne marveling at the size.
We really enjoyed the 1.6 mile trail through the trees which then takes on a rather abrupt climb up to the peak.
Jim dwarfed by the rocks.
I don’t like to get quite that close to the edge.
Not being climbers, we couldn’t quite make it all the way to the highest point, but we were happy just exploring around the rocks and taking in the views.
Looking at the curvature of the land gives you a sense of massive Cima Dome, a gentle dome-shaped 75 square mile mass of once molten rock now covered with Joshua trees. It rises 150’ above the desert floor and has a diameter of over 10 miles. A geological rarity, the almost-perfect dome has been called the most symmetrical natural dome in the United States.
So subtle, at first we weren’t sure we were looking in the right place.
We found the rocks to be much more fascinating.
It was another great day in the Mojave National Preserve. This is one of those places I almost hate to share because so few people come here, which adds to its appeal. Joshua Tree National Park averages around 2 million visitors a year, whereas only a half million people come to Mojave. Last night, the Friday before Easter, the three closest campsites to ours were vacant. Unbelievable!